[Historic Marker Application: Jeff Davis County Courthouse] Page: 9 of 48
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THIIE JEFF DAVIS COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Jeff Davis County is in the Trans Pecos region of tar southwest Texas. The
county is 2,259 square miles, or 1, 445,760 acres. It has the highest average elevation
of any county in Texas. Situated in the beautiful Davis Mountains, Fort Davis is the
county seat. The population of the county is just over two thousand.
The Classical Revival Courthouse, the highest courthouse in Texas at 5,050
feet, and continually in use in Jeff Davis County, was built in 1910 and 1911 to
replace the adobe structure serving the county since 1880. The land for the original
courthouse was donated by a thoughtful citizen, Whitaker Keesey, and the new
courthouse was built adjacent to the first courthouse, after the block had been
squared by tIh purclasc of two str ipof land o n tc e cast and south. The old
courthouse had srve-id as the origrial Presidio County Courthouse. and served
as the Jeff Davis County Courthouse after the county was created in 1887.
The architectural firm of L. L. Thurman and Co. of Dallas, Texas was
retained at a cost not to exceed $6,000 to design the courthouse and separate jail.
A bid of $47,000 from the Falls City Construction Co. of Louisville, Kentucky
was accepted and construction began in August of 1910. M. 0. Nichol was to be the
contractor. One interesting stipulation tor the new courthouse was that the gradeline
was to coincide with a point marked on the old hitching post on the northeast corner
of the square, forty-eight feet from the front door of the new building. In May of
1910 warrants at 6%0 were issued to pay for the new courthouse and jail. The
waraiis were to be repaid by a special 25 cent per one hundred dollar valuation tax.
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Texas Historical Commission. [Historic Marker Application: Jeff Davis County Courthouse], text, 2000; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth391209/m1/9/?q=Jeff%20Davis%20County%20Courthouse: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Commission.